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Online public hearing for Enbridge Line 5 reroute set for July 1

The proposed pipeline reroute would stretch approximately 42 miles of new 30-inch pipeline south of the Bad River reservation.

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A tanker truck passes by an Enbridge storage tank. Forum News Service file photo

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will host a July 1 online public hearing on Enbridge Energy’s proposed reroute of its Line 5 oil pipeline in Ashland, Bayfield and Iron counties.

The hearing will cover the application for a waterway and wetland permit as well as the proposed scope of the environmental impact statement that will be prepared for the overall project, the WDNR said in a news release.

Construction on the proposed Line 5 reroute would stretch approximately 42 miles of new 30-inch pipeline south of the Bad River reservation after the tribe filed a lawsuit last summer to have the pipeline shut down and moved off its land.

The 645-mile Line 5 currently stretches from Superior to Sarnia, Ontario, by way of the upper and lower peninsulas and Straits of Mackinac in Michigan. It moves approximately 540,000 barrels per day of crude oil and natural gas liquids.

According to the WNDR, construction of the proposed reroute would affect 109 acres of wetland, convert 29.5 acres of wooded wetland to non-wooded wetland and permanently fill 0.06 acres of wetland.

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Of the 186 waterways that exist within the proposed project area, 185 would be temporarily bridged for vehicle access and 87 would have the new pipeline installed via open-cut trenching or dredging, the WDNR said.

The virtual hearing will begin at 4 p.m. July 1 on Zoom, an online teleconferencing service, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The public can participate in the hearing online by computer or phone.

Register to the Zoom meeting in advance at dnr.wi.gov/topic/eia/enbridge.html . Registrants will receive a meeting invite link by email.

To join by phone, call 301-715-8592 or 312-626-6799. When prompted, enter the following passcode ID: 990 3811 0941.

The WNDR encouraged the public to attend the online hearing to provide oral comments on the permit application and the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement. Members of the public can also submit written comments on either the waterway and wetland permit application or the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement to the DNR through July 11.

Written comments on the waterway and wetland permit application and the scope of the EIS can be sent by email to dnroeeacomments@wi.gov or by mail to Line 5 Comments, DNR (EA/7), 101 S. Webster St., Madison, WI 53707.

All electronic and hard-copy comments must be submitted or postmarked no later than July 11.

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